The Boom With the Bomb Train Boom

CBC is a funny beast now. Along with their story parroting what the latest Canadian Energy Research Initiative report says, is RBC/tarsands shill Amanda Lang staring at you from the sidebar. Also we learn about “Dollarama’s winning formula” of selling Chinese mass produced garbage to Canadians, a “retail success story”, and again with “Amanda Lang takes you inside the world of business.”

Back to the oil train story. Outpacing oil trains apparently are wheat and coal. Coal shouldn’t even be burned anymore, now that we know how deadly and damaging it is. The report makes no mention of the unsafe DOT-111 cars used to ship petroleum. It doesn’t mention climate change, instead calling it “climate concerns”.

Coal currently is the most commonly moved commodity across Canada, accounting for nearly a quarter of rail traffic in some parts of the country, but that number is likely to fall as coal falls out of use because of climate concerns.

Anyway, oil-by-rain shipments are not “set to boom”, they already have boomed (and exploded too), and will continue to according to the CETI report.

Alberta Getting a Climate Change Plan?

If they enact what is known to be good policy, but the previous government was afraid to do, that’d be a start anyway.

I found it interesting that the newspaper had at least 1 line of comment from many minor party leaders, yet nothing from the PCs! They even had Greenpeace (instead of the Green Party of Alberta); what’s up with that?
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This Isn’t Going To Work #skpoli

It’s 2015, and the entire effing cabinet should understand perfectly that climate change is a serious economic and environmental problem that’s overdue to be tackled.

I honestly didn’t know who the Environment Minister was before this shuffle, and from Cox’s early comment it sounds like I needn’t bother still.

Fair and Balanced Questions

As you probably know, “Fair and Balanced” is the Fox News tagline that exists to trick the more easily fooled into thinking that’s what their actual objective is.

Check out today’s story from the Vancouver Observer about “@FairQuestions”, a Conservative friendly researcher who took thousands of dollars in speaking fees from oil companies and testified for Conservative ends in Parliament. This, after being connected to lucrative oil money roles through Senator Duffy.

The $10,000 fees were paid by the Association for Mineral Exploration of BC (AMEBC), Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA) and Taseko Mines between March 22nd and June 6, 2012. The Inuvik Petroleum Show paid $6000 for a June 21 appearance, along with Amanda Lang and Ezra Levant.

The B.C. mining group also appeared to go out of its way to pay her.

“We usually don’t have fees,” said John Buchanan, Director of Communications and Public Affairs of AMEBC. “It’s a professional opportunity. It’s a way for speakers to give back to their industry.”

www. ezralevant. com/protecting_canadas_future has a video of Krause on Levant’s former Sun News show.

ADDED: One of the most disturbing points in the video is when Krause says she thinks the debate has been skewed because big money from the cities is drowning out small voices in rural Canada, and that funding should be “out in the open”.

Made In Canada Conservative Hypocrisy

“Canada had long been a proponent of harmonizing our climate-change policy with the U.S. until the U.S. started to fight climate change.”

First it was the “Made in Canada” scam plan (that never appeared). Then it was, “We will act when our American partners do.” Now that Americans are acting, it’s exposed the climate denial-ism of the Conservative Party.

So what happened? Why has the government suddenly changed course? The reality seems to be that harmonization has just been an excuse the federal government used to justify doing nothing, and then quickly abandoned as soon as it meant doing something.

“Apparently, the government is now looking for today’s climate laggard to harmonize with.”
– “Tim Gray is executive director of Environmental Defence.”

SaskParty Avoids Clean Energy Boom

Saskatchewan leadership leaves a lot to be desired. Many people here are excited about how “strong” Saskatchewan is, thanks to SaskParty propaganda. We’ve also the strongest carbon air pollution per capita in the world, but few tend to talk about that here. Times are good, they’re good for me, and most of my friends (the ones who’ve not recently lost their jobs, that is). So why don’t I just shut up and enjoy myself? Maybe I do enjoy myself, maybe so much that I have an iota of time and money left over to care about how others are doing too?

Why is over $1.4B of public money going into burning coal, while much less is going into harnessing wind power or our world leading solar resource and wide open spaces? The rest of the world is leaving us in the windy dust.

Global Wind Power Installations Increased by 42 Percent in 2014
March 26, 2015
Growth in China, Germany, and the United States led to a record year for wind installations, report concludes

The world is instead going to regard Saskatchewan as a pollution capital, not an energy capital.

3. SASKATCHEWAN TRAPPED IN THE 19th CENTURY: Absent policy leadership, clean-energy investors are largely giving the province a pass, the Star Phoenix reported. Despite abundant wind and sun, it has “put most of its money behind so-called clean coal.”

So Brad Wall’s SaskParty will brag about low taxes and “equitable” treatment of business (even though that’s not been the case for private e-waste businesses), while the rest of the world regards us as technological laggards. Cutting funding to Saskatchewan’s top universities isn’t going to help with that image either. Maybe I’m biased, because I’m about to own a renewable energy system, and I work at a university. Maybe my expectations for Saskatchewan are too high.

I’m not the only one dreaming.

Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails on that front, then we should seriously reconsider who’s choosing our destination.

“study finds that the main barrier to achieving those goals is a matter of politics rather than technology or economic limitations.”

“We have the tools to transition to a clean energy economy; all that’s lacking is the leadership to put them to use.”
Greg is bang on, and I’m not saying so simply because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

Given that there are about 410,000 households in Saskatchewan, we’d need about 3 Ivanpah style solar power plants to provide electricity to every home in the province. We can do it, and we should.

That’s me last year providing a real-world example of technology we could build in Saskatchewan to give every household renewable energy at a price we can afford. We can probably not afford to fail to build such a new system.


ADDED: Prebble and others show that Saskatchewan must turn to renewable energy to succeed in reforming our economy.